Radiation-Induced and Metabolism-Induced Reactions of Hypoxic Sensitizers with Cellular Molecules

  • J. D. Chapman
  • J. Ngan-Lee
  • C. C. Stobbe
  • B. E. Meeker
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 43)


Several nitroaromatic compounds have been shown to selectively radiosensitize hypoxic mammalian cells and various mechanisms have been proposed to account for this effect (1,2) . Most studies show that a component of the sensitizing action of these drugs is mimetic of the sensitizing action of molecular oxygen and a rapid free radical mechanism is indicated. Another component of their radio-sensitizing action is dependent upon metabolism of the drugs by hypoxic cells (3) and can be resolved by studies which vary both temperature and exposure time (4). The molecular processes associated with this “metabolism-dependent” component of radio-sensitization may also be responsible for the hypoxic cell cytotoxicity produced by the same drugs. Various “radiation-induced” and “metabolism-induced” reactions of hypoxic cell sensitizers with cellular molecules are reviewed. Addition products consisting of sensitizer and cellular macromolecules are generated by both radiation-induced and metabolism-induced reactions and could be responsible for the various biological effects of these drugs.


Addition Product Hypoxic Cell Nitroaromatic Compound Cellular Macromolecule Cellular Molecule 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. D. Chapman
    • 1
  • J. Ngan-Lee
    • 1
  • C. C. Stobbe
    • 1
  • B. E. Meeker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiation Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute and Department of RadiologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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